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Virtual healthcare is a new and fast-growing sector of the healthcare industry. Many companies have launched to assist doctors and medical facilities in providing the highest quality health services to patients at all times of day remotely And grant providers are now putting up money to explore how virtual healthcare can be a benefit to patients in need. Companies like DreaMed Diabetes, a developer of personalized, AI-based diabetes management solutions, are on the front line of care for those with diabetes. Its expertise in the diabetes management space has positioned the company to receive a $5 million dollar grant as part of a research study to determine the effectiveness of virtual diabetes care.
Funding for the research study comes from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and will focus on determining if the virtual clinic model improves clinical and psychological outcomes for people with diabetes. DreaMed, with partner Cecilia Health, will provide a multi-faceted platform to fully evaluate the effectiveness of virtual clinics using DreaMed’s technology.
The United States struggles with providing quality healthcare to many of its citizens. In addition to rural areas facing a shortage of doctors and medical personnel, a good percentage of the hospitals across the country are lacking in support staff that inputs patient data and performs other critical healthcare support services. With a growing and aging population, one that has increasing numbers of debilitating and life-threatening diseases like diabetes, these shortages are costing lives.
Technology companies are racing to provide solutions for the healthcare industry. One that has shown great potential is telemedicine. Telemedicine is a very broad category of solutions that service patients remotely. Telemedicine ranges from online doctor visits, distance chronic condition management, virtual diabetes care, and even providing care for a problem pregnancy at a distance.
Virtual healthcare is a component of telemedicine that creates virtual, real-time online visits between patients and clinicians. This occurs over teleconferencing platforms like Skype or Zoom and allows medical professionals to connect with patients wherever they have an internet or phone connection. These conferences can be between a patient and an MD or a specialist and eliminates the need for a patient to travel anywhere.
For more than 25 million people suffering from diabetes, virtual healthcare can be a very important healthcare tool. Too often, sufferers of diabetes end up hospitalized because they do not see medical professionals often enough. There is a particular need for access to endocrinologists who provide them with critical guidance, including the overseeing of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), insulin-dosing support, and pertinent mental health support. Virtual healthcare allows patients to be seen regularly and quickly, when any health issues occur. This may improve their overall health and wellness, as the study seeks to determine.
The Helmsley Study builds on the Jaeb Center’s initial three-month pilot study that found participants using CGM received personalized support, enabling them to improve their glycemic outcomes and quality of life. The new six-month study will be more rigorous and focus more keenly on analyzing virtual diabetes management. The evaluation of CGM use over time will help give valuable data on healthcare utilization and cost, the use of decision support tools, and the impact of regular mental health support.
The study will include 300 nationwide patients who don’t currently utilize CGM and have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. To integrate the virtual management of insulin dosage, the initiative will utilize the DreaMed Advisor Platform, which gives providers a way to view and manage recommendations.
DreaMed is a provider of artificial intelligence-powered technology that seamlessly treats patients remotely. It offers a virtual diabetes management service providing personalized recommendations on insulin dosage for people with type 1 diabetes. DreaMed’s role in the Helmsley study will be to provide a comprehensive data system that can pull information from CGM, SMBG, insulin pumps, and connected insulin pens.
It will use its DreaMed Advisor Platform in the study, delivered via mobile and web apps, to visualize the collected information for the healthcare provider and for the participating patients. The company will also operate decision support algorithms to optimize insulin treatment plans for people with type 1/type 2 diabetes on insulin pumps or multiple daily injections therapy. Because of its experience, products and understanding of the marketplace, DreaMed is an ideal company to participate in the virtual diabetes care study.
“Virtual care is the future of medicine, and the technology is ripe for deployment in diabetes. We are confident in the model and proud that our technology is providing the support necessary to enable its implementation. We are thrilled to be involved in Jaeb’s VDiSC study,” says Eran Agmon, Chief Product Officer of DreaMed Diabetes.
The data collected during the six-month study could have a great impact on adding virtual diabetes care to the list of effective diabetes therapies.